A Passage to India [Blu-ray]

A Passage to India [Blu-ray]

Posted by leeshkay | Published 7 months ago

With ratings

Purchased At: $4.69 (14 used & new offers)

Loved this show/drama! Also reminded me of another great series Indian Summers. My Daddy was a Designing Engineer for Norfolk Southern RR in the 50's60's & Mother & I always traveled with him all over US. We had a wonderful private Pullman sleeper car, there were Fine Dining cars, Waiters wore White gloves, linen table clothes, Bone China, Sterling silverware, and beautiful Silver Tea/coffee/Hot Chocolate pots brought to our car in the evening and wake-up! Bar/Lounges. I always loved traveling by trains, I'm 66 yrs young now & still do, but in Europe. It's really sad the US doesn't have Luxury Train travel, it's great as Europe still does and Canada. Planes get you to destination quicker, IF you don't have long waits or cancellations, but really it's the journey, the sightseeing of the countrysides the kids miss, plus Amtrax has great kids cars with movies, games, soda & snack bar! *I do wish my Daddy would have had to travel to exotic places too! When my son was 16, I can't believe it's been 25 yrs ago! We went from Amtrak in Atlanta to the Grand Canyon, it was fabulous trip! Stayed 4-5 days in cabin ontop of Canyon, drove to Flagstaff, Sedona, then back on Amtrak & Navajo Princess came onboard for an hour trip. Trust me, Take your kids, breathtaking sites, my son took plane ride through canyon, hiked down to Canyon River & take raft rides! They will Love it and so will you! Different packages. I pray I can take my Grandson next summer, he'll be 11.

- Anonymous

This is really my favorite movie. Expected from Lean it's full of beautiful shots but also loaded with visual irony. Don't miss the stoney faces of the Indians on the street as the Viceroy enters Bombay with full pomp and circumstance or the beauty of an ancient statue literally looking down on a train of Brits talking about the "lack of culture" among Indians. All of the actors give stupendous performances particularly Judi Davis and the ever subtle Roshan Seth who has almost no lines but nevertheless gives a very interesting performance. The movie is slightly marred by casting Alec Guinness as "the inscrutable Brahmin." The days when a European actor could squirt on a little suntan and play an asian were clearly over by then but Guinness did not realize this. I have read Lean chopped many of Guinness' scenes in editing and I assume because he realized the performance was flawed in this way because he is still a great actor. If you can look past a sincere blunder it's a great movie.

- Anonymous

A Passage to India (1984) is an elegant film. In classic David Lean fashion, it showcases the director's attention to detail, while also giving viewers his knack for grand scale 'epic' asthetic and feel. There are many breathtaking shots in this film, with trains in the distance at night, the Taj Mahal, various landscapes, etc. Furthermore, the characters and their sophistication really carry this film, with actresses Peggy Ashcroft and Judy Davis' warmth and overall presence. I really like how Lean took a relatively simple plot and stretched it into an almost three hour film, without it becoming boring at any point; this film has good pacing and keeps your attention. I was so happy to see that A Passage to India didn't have a 'commercial' feel to it, as it was released at a time when there was increasing pressure to do that; Lean's uncompromising film makes it hold up very well today as a result. The blu ray has excellent picture and sound quality, and the special features are interesting. If epic films are your thing, give this film a try, along with other Lean classics like Lawrence of Arabia and The Bridge on the River Kwai.

- Anonymous

A fine film, beautiful to watch and listen to (perfect score!), with top-notch performances from Judy Davis, Peggy Ashcroft, James Fox, and especially Victor Bannerjee. This I believe was the last film made by the great director David Lean, and it is a worthy finale to his career.

The bonus features offer a lot in the way of interviews and commentary on everything from the careers of the novelist Forster and the director Lean, to footage of the filming, to interviews with the actors. We normally don't watch bonus features, but we were riveted to these. The two-disc set is truly a collector's edition.

- Anonymous

I got this DVD movie as a present for my parents, when their old VHS version of this that they recorded on TV ages ago started to show its age and began to deteriorate. This classical dramatic story is beautifully restored and the sound quality is excellent. It is based on a novel of the same name by E.M Forster and highlights the fierce racial tensions between the Imperial British Colonials and their oppressed Indian Subjects yearning to liberty and justice in the period of then British India. Directed by Sir David Lean who made other great films like Doctor Zhivago and Lawrence of Arabia and stating great actresses like Judy Davis and actors like Sir Alec Guinness, this story is about a kindhearted Indian doctor who after befriending an aristocratic British family is wrongfully accused of raping one of the female guests whilst provided her a tour of the Marabar Caves. The drama unfolds between the spiteful English Colonials and the Vengeful Indians as the court case builds up, but he is saved in the end in an most unexpected way no one could of imagined, yet the doctor never is the same man again. Great intense film that I would highly recommend watching. There are a few extras such as galleries, trailers and filmographies but the film speaks for itself. Well constructed drama in the hope purist form. I am so kind there are DVD copies of good movies like this one nicely restored with a few extra features to interest movie collectors. Must have and buy.

- Anonymous

First off a few words about the DVD I purchased: Picture and sound quality are very nice, and English (as well as numerous foreign language) subtitles are available. Also dubbed audio versions in French and Spanish. By way of extras there is only a trailer. The run time of the film on the DVD is 2 hours 37 mins (which is 157 mins and not the 197 mins advertised in the product description - which latter is likely an error since the original release of the film was ever only 164 mins).

The story of the two British ladies travelling to India during the waning days of the Raj in probably not to everybody's taste with the prejudices and instances of racism involved. Even more problematic is the accusation of alleged rape by the young Englishwoman against her Indian guide. Thankfully, the outcome of the ensuing trial and Victor Banerjee's big scene at this point in the film are so beautifully played out and captured by the camera, that this is what is most remembered after watching the film. At least, that's what I remembered most some thirty years after first seeing this film in the cinema. Having bought the DVD and revisited the film for the first time this many years later, I must say that I struggled with parts of the story.

Technically, the film is excellent. Another example of David Lean's talent and craftsmanship as a director. Also, the acting is first class all round. I loved Peggy Ashcroft, admired Judy Davis for her flawless performance as a character I thoroughly disliked on this second watching, will never cease to admire Alec Guinness, simply adored Victor Banerjee and was delighted to see the young Nigel Havers. Also worth mentioning is the Maurice Jarre score which is rather nice. Not quite up there with the ones for Lawrence of Arabia or Doctor Zhivago though.

Good film with beautiful cinematography and stunnning Indian locations , but one that will make you think and possibly (hopefully) make you feel uncomfortable at times. Not light entertainment.

- Anonymous

Along with "Gandhi" (1982) this is one of the great films about the twilight of the British Empire. Based on EM Forster's novel, "A Passage to India" portends the clash of civilizations against the background of racial difference in a world where the white Englishman rules, and the Indian resentfully accepts his rule. The emotional constipation of English middle-class life, Forster's prime topic in his novels, is reproduced by the British in India; oblivious to the fascinations of the sub-continent, they reproduce a version of 'home', deeming anything non-English to be inferior: from the insipid cucumber sandwiches and musical performances at the club to the hymns played at the garden party. On the symbolic level, both the novel and the film are very rich. The central incident, the delusion of Miss Quested that she has been sexually attacked in the Marabar caves by a Muslim, works on two levels: it images the fear the rulers have of the greater vitality of the ruled; and on a deeper level the caves seem to give back to the Europeans entering them a hideous parody of their deepest fear of the moment: Miss Quested's fear of sex associated with her forthcoming marriage. As a whole they seem to image the blankness at the heart of Britain's imperial splendour. The conclusion is an uncanny one as it seems politically incorrect by today's standards to echo the warning voiced by Mr. Turton, the bigoted Collector of Chandrapore: that it is unwise to get too much involved in alien cultures as "East is East".

The film is visually stunning, witness the pomp that is meant to dazzle the Indians when the Viceroy arrives in Bombay. Because of the effective camera work, I could almost feel the heat in the Marabar scene.

The cast is excellent. I particularly liked James Fox as Richard Fielding, the liberal College Principal. The supporting cast is equally convincing, including Clive Swift as Major Callendar and Antonia Pemberton as Mrs. Turton, the haughty Collector's wife.

- Anonymous

An excellent Blu Ray transfer of a not totally successful adaptation of Forster’s classic novel. The snobbery of many of the English characters and the “comic” absurdity of the local Indians is far too caricatured to be believed and the music score is not remotely appropriate either and sounds more like the composer’s contribution to “Dr Zhivago” than anything to do with either India or imperialism. That said, the performances of most of the central characters, particularly Victor Banerjee, Peggy Ashcroft, Edward Fox and Judy Davis, are excellent with the exception of the normally outstanding Alec Guinness as Professor Godbole. This grotesque miscasting is difficult to believe and manages to be both unbelievable and somewhat offensive at the same time, years before cultural appropriation was ever thought about in cinema. This epic, yet intimate, production is certainly worth seeing, even if the ending ultimately lacks the impact required. Forster’s novel is a complex and mysterious masterpiece which David Lean doesn’t quite manage to capture but makes a most impressive attempt to portray its richness and intellectual depth.

- Anonymous

I saw this in my local cinema on its first release and I loved it for its majestic visual sweep. The characters are all, without exception, perfectly cast and under what was, apparently, Lean's very demanding direction, they perform magnificently. A film of unforgettable visuals and restrained, taut performances. Because I was born years after we gave away the Empire I've no idea what it must have been like to be English in India in the 20s and Forster lets no-one escape without blame, which is so true to life in any age. The DVD transfer is good. The lush music score sounds wonderful. The colour balance is fine. All in all, a fine addition to a film collection, unless you prefer CGI comic book crap

- Anonymous

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